In a big update, the BJP on Wednesday named party spokesperson Syed Zafar Islam as its candidate for the Rajya Sabha by-poll to a seat from Uttar Pradesh. The election has been necessitated due to the death of expelled Samajwadi Party MP Amar Singh. Islam's victory is all but certain due to the BJP's overwhelming majority in the state assembly.
It is believed that Islam, a former investment banker,played a key role in negotiating and eventually bringing former Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia into BJP's fold as both enjoyed warm personal relations. Influenced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's brand of politics, Zafar Islam had joined the BJP. Often seen on TV debates, Zafar Islam is said to have a "good relation" with PM Modi.